In honor of wom(b)en, womyn, women and the #womensmarch2017, before and beyond

You strong and mighty stems
Battling against storms
And animals
And the wills of men
To bud
To form
To have something for yourself
Who emerge
From soil
Or being soiled
From salted earth
And sandstorms

You who
Again and again
Take on
What should not be ignored
What you can't stand
What others won't stick around for

You who speak
When others would rather you be spoken for
Or wait a turn
Until they are ready for you
But never wanting more
Until it suits them

You who bare the indignities
Of other wom(b/x/y/e)n
Young girls
Everyone in between
And men
Who were once boys
Who all came from you
But think your pussy
Is something derogatory

Who lament at your softness
Only to ignore the steel within
Your platforms
Your decisions
Often to be with them
Amongst the skeptical
And the easily offended
And the self-important 

You whose time has not come yet
Who will not suffer others
Who come after you
To be subjected
Who withstand abuses
That shouldn't be considered
Let alone bore

Who are left to sew up
To heal
To bare alone your broken wombs
To leave flowers
At your foremothers forgotten tombs
Who others say you should be grateful for



Yet are unaware of how gratitude
Looks for you
So used to seeing it on you
Accustomed to imagining
It is embedded
In your skin
Just for them 

I feel for you
I feel for you
I feel for you

They claim you're original sin
And yet reach for you
Wanting to be consumed
At whim
Then condemn
But not that which they use you for
Which comes from within them 

I feel for you
I feel for you
Despite all they claim you cannot win
You cannot have
Is not here for you
Or yours to command

I can't ignore you
So I invite you in
I ask about your stories
What you've learned from all of this
From the its you've shouldered as burden

A force
To be reckoned with
To be honored
In bold
As we've lived
Even when ignored
You whose life
As you would live it is an act of defiance
Against circumstances
And conditions
Not primed for you
Not made for your experiences

I stand for you
And again
And again

Until we end.


Bonaventure Valentine

Bonaventure Valentine

Go/No Go: A Hidden Figures Review

Go/No Go: A Hidden Figures Review